Painting of "any" kind is a challenge. You have a blank something; a canvas, birdhouse, tray, ANYTHING paintable and the challenge is, "What the heck do I put on it." If you are an artist of any kind and haven't had that moment, you are blessed!
Here was the challenge I had. Two windmill birdhouses. What to do with them.
As you can see, the birdhouse was rather large AND very blank. Should I use yet another Pennsylvania Dutch design or something else? I was stumped. They sat on my work table staring at me for weeks. It was amazing how deftly I could work around them. Trays, plates, other birdhouses but there they sat like guilt on a stick.
May 20th we went to one of the last days of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire here in Irwindale, CA and I was struck by the costumes, the way of talking and then finally the architecture. I took photos of the village and some models, came home and started to doodle. Before I knew it, I had a English Tudor Renaissance windmill birdhouse design. But, as I discovered, it was much easier to doodle the design than literally "doodle" it on four sides of the birdhouse. The first thing to go were the windmill blades. They could be handled later. Then the time consuming task of drawing in the wood and plaster portions of the design and then the tedious, and yes it WAS tedious, sketching of the portions that needed to be painted. Tedious though took on a whole new dimension when it came to painting!!!
I in fact cheated. I painted the cream portions and used a stain to darken the unpainted wood portions thereby giving dark beams to the structure and antiquing the plaster portions. I used a rake to put in the four layers of "thatch" on the roof. I discovered that they used fabric to increase the affect of the wind so added a blood red fabric to give the whole birdhouse a bit of color. I knew this would be merely decorative, so why not?
I have one more left. And I am now trying to decide how I want to paint it! For more photos go to my store: http://krugsstudio.etsy.com.
My advice when you are staring at that blank whatever, let you mind wander. Don't be a slave to what you have been doing. Think and crawl outside that box. Whether you like it or not, I find this project to be one of my more creative...and yes, best!